ISTANBUL (Reuters) -Turkey has recorded 110,682 new COVID-19 infections in the space of 24 hours, its highest daily figure of the pandemic, health ministry data showed on Wednesday.
In late December, daily cases stood at about 20,000 but have since surged due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Data also showed 217 people died due to COVID-19 in the same 24-hour period. The total death toll stands at more than 87,000, according to the official tally.
Separately, Turkey’s coronavirus science council said the anti-viral pill molnupiravir will be administered to early-stage COVID-19 patients over age 65 or with chronic illnesses as of next week.
In a statement, the council said the Omicron variant now constituted almost all cases of COVID-19 disease, though intensive care bed occupancy rate stood at at 68.7% across the country.
“We maintain our forecast that the current course of the spread will not strain hospital capacity,” the statement said.
Countries rushed to buy Merck’s molnupiravir after very promising initial results, but subsequent company data in late November indicated the drug was markedly less effective than previously thought.
(Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun, Editing by Mark Heinrich and Angus MacSwan)